|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:12-19 If the slothful are to be condemned, who do nothing, much more those that do all the ill they can. Observe how such a man is described. He says and does every thing artfully, and with design. His ruin shall come without warning, and without relief. Here is a list of things hateful to God. Those sins are in a special manner provoking to God, which are hurtful to the comfort of human life. These things which God hates, we must hate in ourselves; it is nothing to hate them in others. Let us shun all such practices, and watch and pray against them; and avoid, with marked disapproval, all who are guilty of them, whatever may be their rank.
Verse 13. - He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers. He employs his other members for the same nefarious purpose. In the language of St. Paul, he yields his members to uncleanness, and to iniquity unto iniquity (Romans 6:19). "To wink with the eye (karats ayin)," as in Proverbs 10:10 and Psalm 35:19, or "with the eyes (karats b'eynayim)," is properly to compress or nip them together, and so to wink, and give the signal to others not to interfere (Gesenius and Delitzsch); cf. the LXX., ἐννεύει ὀφθαλμῷ; and the Vulgate, annuit oculis. Aquila and Theodoret, however, read, κνίζει, "he vexes or annoys." The observation of the teacher in Proverbs 10:10 is, "He that winketh with his eyes causeth sorrow." The same verb karuts is also used of the compression or closing of the lips in Proverbs 16:30. He speaketh with his feet; i.e. he conveys signs by them to his companion; cf. the LXX., σημαίνει δὲ ποδὶ, and the Vulgate, terit pede, which conveys much the same meaning. He teacheth with his fingers; or, as more fully expressed in the LXX., διδάσκει δὲ ἐννεύμασι δακτύλων, "he teacheth by the signs of his fingers." Symmachus has δακτυλοδεικτῶν, which, however, in its strictly classical use (see Demosthenes, 790, 20) is pointing at with the finger. "Teaching" is only the secondary meaning of the Hebrew participle moreh, which is here used. The verb yarah, to which it belongs, means properly to extend or stretch out the hand for the purpose of pointing out the way (compare the Hebrew shalakh yod, and the Latin monstrare), and hence came to mean "to teach." The crafty and deceitful character which is here presented to as is strikingly reproduced in Ecclesiasticus: "He that winketh with the eyes worketh evil: and he that knoweth him will depart from him. When thou art present, he will speak sweetly, and will admire thy words: but at the last he will writhe his mouth, and slander thy sayings. I have hated many things, but nothing like him; for the Lord will hate him" (Ecclus. 27:22-24). The heathen poet Naevius says of the impudent woman -
"Allium tenet, alii adnutat, alibi manus
Est occupata: est alii percellit pedem." Compare also Ovid's words ('Amor.,' 1:4, 16) -
"Clam mihi tange pedem:
Me specta, mutusque meos, vultumque loquacem...
Verba superciliis sine voce loquentia dicam;
Verba leges digitis." So Tibullus, 1:12 -
"Illa viro coram nutus conferre loquaces
Blandaque compositis abdere verba notis." The lesson which we may learn from this verse is not to abuse the members of our bodies, by employing them for the purposes of deceit and hypocrisy, and so to promote evil, but to put them to their natural and legitimate use.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He winketh with his eyes,.... Not through natural infirmity, but purposely and with design; with one of his eyes, as Aben Ezra, as is usual with such persons: it is the air and gesture of a sneering and deceitful man, who gives the wink to some of his friends, sneering at the weakness of another in company; or as signifying to them some secret design of his against another, which he chooses not to declare in any other way;
he speaketh with his feet; the motions of the feet have a language; the stamping of the feet expresses rage; here it seems to intend the giving of a him to another, by privately pressing his foot with his, when he should be silent or should speak, or do this or the other thing he would have him do;
he teacheth with his fingers; by stretching them out or compressing them; and so showing either scorn and contempt (x), or rage and fury. The whole of it seems to design the secret, cunning, artful ways, which wicked men have to convey their meanings to one another, without being understood by other persons; they have a language to themselves, which they express by the motions of their eyes, feet, and fingers: and this character of art and cunning, dissimulation and deceit, fitly agrees with the man of sin, 2 Thessalonians 2:10. So mimics are said to speak with their hands; some have been famous in this way (y).
(x) "In hunc intende digitum", Plauti Pseudolus, Acts 4. Sc. 7. v. 45. "----aliis dat digito literas", Ennius. (y) Vid. Barthii Animadv. ad Claudian. de Consul. Mallii Paneg. v. 311.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13, 14. If, for fear of detection, he does not speak, he uses signs to carry on his intrigues. These signs are still so used in the East.
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